Dicamba Settlement Claims Commence

Soybean Farmers Can Now File Dicamba Yield Loss Claims

Emily Unglesbee
By  Emily Unglesbee , DTN Staff Reporter
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Soybean farmers who experience soybean yield losses from dicamba injury can now file claims if they can prove the loss. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) -- Soybean farmers whose fields had yield losses resulting from off-target dicamba movement in the past six years can now file claims as part of a $400 million settlement with Monsanto (now a subsidiary of Bayer).

The claims period began on Dec. 29, 2020. The deadline to submit claims is May 28, 2021. Submit claims at www.dicambasoybeansettlement.com/ or call 855-914-4672.

The settlement is part of Bayer's efforts to settle ongoing lawsuits involving its herbicides, including multi-district litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri over dicamba injury claims. The settlement was originally announced in June 2020, but the agreement was not signed until December 2020, said Don Downing, an attorney with the St. Louis law firm Gray, Ritter & Graham, who serves as chair of the court-appointed executive committee that negotiated the settlement.

The legal settlement with Monsanto provides compensation for damage and yield losses occurring from the introduction of the Xtend crop system. Anyone with specific types of evidence of dicamba damage in soybeans in any of year from 2015 through 2020 is eligible to participate in the settlement -- $300 million is designated for soybean farmers and $100 for administrative costs. BASF was not part of the signed agreement.

Growers with non-soybean crop or plant injury in the multi-district litigation are in the process of settling their claims separately and privately with Bayer, Downing said.

"They will need evidence of dicamba symptomology on their soybeans and will need to produce yield records from which loss calculations can be made," Downing said.

As DTN has reported in the past, legally acceptable documentation of dicamba symptomology could include such things as photographs, state regulatory agency reports or expert agronomist opinions or notes. Yield loss evidence can be gleaned from field yield histories, crop insurance reports or readings from a calibrated yield monitor.

Farmers are able to complete the claim process on their own, can hire an attorney of their choice, or can retain one of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee firms to assist with putting together the claim form and supporting documentation.

The settlement was negotiated by the court-appointed Plaintiffs' Executive Committee: Don Downing of Gray Ritter & Graham; Rene Rocha of Morgan & Morgan; Paul Lesko of Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway; Hart Robinovitch of Zimmerman Reed; James Bilsborrow of Weitz & Luxenberg; Paul LLP; Bev Randles of Randles & Splittgerber; Paul Byrd of Paul Byrd Law Firm.

To read more about the dicamba settlement, and who it applies to, see this DTN story: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

To read more about the larger $11 billion settlement over glyphosate that Bayer also negotiated this summer, in addition to this dicamba settlement, see this DTN story: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

Pamela Smith contributed to this report.

Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.unglesbee@dtn.com

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Emily Unglesbee